Tag Archives: kimberly suta

Xeriscaping: Beautiful and Sustainable Landscaping for Your Home

Living in Texas, especially South Texas, means water is almost as precious as gold. Water restrictions are just a part of daily life, and nothing suffers more for it than our lawns. If you’re looking to build a new house or are considering landscaping alternatives, consider xeriscaping.

If you’re not familiar with the term, xeriscaping is landscaping and gardening that minimizes the need for supplemental water from irrigation by using plants natural to the environment. In fact, a xeriscaped yard uses about half the water of a traditional yard.

Other Benefits of Xeriscaping:

-          No need for pesticides or fertilizers.

-          It’s pollution free.

-          It creates a natural habitat for your local wildlife.

-          It requires a lot less maintenance, so it’s perfect for families who are always on the go or travel a lot.

-          Drought-proofing with Xeriscaping is a great way to improve the value of your property.

Beautiful and Green (sustainable)

Unfortunately, xeriscaping has earned a bad reputation as being unattractive. Sure, this type of landscaping means that you may not have an endless carpet of feather-soft grass in your front yard, but let’s face it, even with unlimited watering, that’s just not realistic. Still, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice beauty for practicality.

At Stone Creek Custom Homes, we work with some of the best landscape designers who seamlessly combine their knowledge with your own personal aesthetics to create a stunning outdoor environment for our client’s new homes.

Here are some things to keep in mind for your own Xeriscaped yard:

-          If you like to have a colorful yard, you can plant native wildflowers that are as hardy as they are gorgeous.

-          Use structures like walkways, pavers, stairs, a small bridge or other aesthetic elements, such as fountains, to minimize the need for plant life.

-          Make sure to consider the overall style of your home to help inspire the outdoor environment.

-          If you want to do some pre-planning and designing on your own, make a sun chart that delineates how much sun and where your property gets throughout the day. This will help you properly match the right plants with your home’s sunlight exposure.

-          Get your soil analyzed. You can send in samples to your local agricultural government office. This will help you determine what plants are realistically sustainable on your land and where your soil might need to be augmented.

Feel free to call us at your convenience at 210-494-5400 to discuss your own home and xeriscaping needs! Also, if you’d like to be added to our private email list to receive the newsletter, please sign up here.

Meet Stone Creek Custom Homes’ Darla Strawther

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You may have spoken with her on the phone or even seen her in person, but oftentimes Darla Strawther, the Office Manager for Stone Creek Custom Homes, is working behind the scenes making sure everything stays on track. Among a million other things, Darla is responsible for the accounting, ordering and coordinating with clients.

Darla:  I’m pretty much a jack of all trades. I do a little bit of everything except go to the house and physically build it.

Darla jokes that the biggest challenge of her job is keeping up with six men, i.e. Jason, Jesse, Brad, Blake, Jimmy and Bill, but regardless of any challenges, she finds her job extremely rewarding.

Darla:  I work with wonderful people – our customers and the people here, our own staff – it’s a good group.

Those who have worked with Stone Creek before know that the relationships we build are of the utmost importance. In fact, our relationship with Darla started back in 2008 when we built her new home at Waggener Ranch. She began working for us part-time in 2009, and then full-time in 2010.

Darla:  It’s all about the relationships here – it truly is! The majority of the time we have had wonderful relationships with our customers. All of us go to the same eye doctor [for example] because we built their home. We keep in contact with several of our customers.

When it comes to her own family, Darla has been married to her husband, Tim, for over 28 years, and they now have two grown children, Jonathan and Natalie.

Darla:  We all do CrossFit together, and we like to travel. Tim was in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years, and we lived in Germany for six, so we have traveled a lot. Last year we went to Rome, and our next trip is to Ann Arbor for Labor Day, where Tim is from.

When asked if she goes on any of the hunting and fishing trips that the guys like to go on, Darla explained that although they’d certainly welcome her, it’s not exactly her cup of tea.

Darla:  I’m not going six miles into the ocean – no way could you get me to do that! They always bring me back some fish or deer meat. It’s really nice that they do that. I don’t always know where they are or what they’re doing, but they’re always there for you, and that’s what’s great about it.

To speak with Darla, give us a call at 210-494-5400. She’ll make sure your next custom home project runs smoothly!

 

 

 

 

Floors – For Every Step You Take

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They may always be beneath us, but the kind of floor you choose for your home can impact the look and feel of your entire house. Especially if you’re working with a custom home builder like us, the sky’s the limit when it comes to floors, but just what does that mean? If you don’t know what you want, then you don’t know what to ask for, right? Here are just a few ideas to get you brainstorming!

Hardwood Floors

The great thing about hardwood is that it never goes out of style. They’re authentic, renewable, beautiful and durable. As for current trends, dark hardwood is in! Two of the most popular stains are Ebony and Jacobean. They go very nicely in the kitchen with white cabinets or in the living room when used with light furniture – think white or soft blue.

Tile Floors

Tile can be used in so many ways – as a mosaic, for example, or even to replicate wood. People are using textured tiles that look like wood for flooring. Trends include reclaimed, barn wood or aged-looking wood, mixing materials like natural stone and wood-looks, parquet flooring (creating geometric patterns with planks), square-based patters and exotic looking hardwoods.

Laminate Floors

One of the main reasons to go with laminate flooring is cost, although there are certainly other benefits, such as they don’t scratch nearly as easily as hardwood. If you are indeed building a house from the ground up, laminate wouldn’t exactly be our first choice, but it’s a money-saver in a pinch. Fortunately, these days you can find some very nice looking laminate that’s almost impossible to discern from the real thing.

Carpet

Carpet is still a great look for bedrooms, although a gorgeous rug over stunning hardwood simply can’t be beat. Right now, favorite options include carpet with texture and patterns in neutral colors such as taupe or gray, although muted blues and teals are certainly growing in popularity.

Creative Floors

When it comes to what you can use to make a floor, all you have to do is use your imagination. You could make a floor out of marbles, pennies, wine corks, puzzles, ceramic shards, even sheet music. What are your interests? How do you want people to feel when they walk into a room? These are questions you should be asking yourself. Besides the walls in the room, the floor has the most potential to make a statement. So what are you going to do with it?

Please feel free to call us at 210-494-5400 to help you get started building your new custom home from floor-to-ceiling!

The San Antonio Film Festival is Back!

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The San Antonio Film Festival (SAFILM), which is celebrating its 21st year next week, will be screening dozens of amazing local and international independent films throughout the five-day cinema event at locations around town, including the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. MovieMaker Magazine called SAFILM one of the coolest film fests around and we agree!

This year, SAFILM takes place from July 28 to August 2nd and you can buy a badge for the entire festival or tickets for individual films or blocks of films that catch your fancy. Check out the schedule online for more information.

We’re happy to announce that one of our friends, local writer and director, Kimberly Suta, will be screening her documentary short about the exploding culinary scene in San Antonio that showcases some of our city’s most talented chefs, local growers and others trailblazers on the forefront of the evolving food culture. San Antonio: An Edible Renaissance will be playing in a block of films starting at 7 pm on Thursday, July 30th.

This fest is a great way to discover and learn more about the city of San Antonio and the burgeoning culture here as well as discover some hidden, not to mention well-known, talent. Their red carpet events are often graced with some big name stars and film industry people and are fun events to attend, even if movies aren’t in your wheelhouse. Here are a few of the upcoming films that caught our eye:

Blind Date (short) on July 31

By San Antonio Director Mragendra Singh

Description:  A socially awkward, middle-aged man, who lives with his loud mouth, paraplegic mother, goes on a blind date.

The Doo Dah Man on August 1

By Director Claude Green

Description:  1980. Smitty, an escaped convict, is driving aimlessly across America in a stolen car. Jake, a New Jersey college student, is also on the run, from a home life that has suddenly exploded in his face as his estranged father wants to re-join the family. Their lives intersect on the lonely highways of America’s southwest.

Viento Aparte on August 2

By Director Alejandro Gerber Bicecci

Description:  Omar and Karina’s mother fell ill on a holiday trip on a beach on the Mexican pacific coast. Without further notice, brother and sister will start a 2,500 kilometers journey to their grandmother’s house in Casas Grandes (Chihuahua), near the Mexico-USA border. They will face a country wounded by violence, distrust, helplessness and abandon, where the only possible shelter is to stay together.

We hope to see you out on the town next week exploring and celebrating independent film and the growing San Antonio arts and culture scene. SAFILM is just another reason we’re extremely proud to help families build long-lasting homes in the Alamo City.

 

West Texas Summer Excursion

From the Lost Mine Trail at Big Bend

From the Lost Mine Trail at Big Bend

If you haven’t figured out yet where to go for a summer vacation, we’d like to recommend a trip to picturesque West Texas. It’s a region of our state that’s often overlooked for more flashy allures such as the beach, Dallas or Houston.

The Gage Hotel

From San Antonio, if you drive along scenic Interstate 90, it’ll take you a little under six hours to get to Marathon, Texas. For couples especially, a one or two night stay at the Gage Hotel is a must. This charming historic hotel, which was built in 1927, is quite literally a desert oasis.

If you’re a history buff, stay in the main hotel, but for access to the gorgeous courtyard, stay in one of the Portales. There’s nothing quite like sitting outside with a couple glasses of wine and enjoying the beautiful night sky. Dinner at their upscale yet casual 12 Gage Restaurant may just be the best thing you eat on your trip, and as if this place wasn’t great enough, just a few blocks from the property they have a private 27-acre manicured garden that you might mistake for Eden.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend is truly the gem of West Texas. Home to the largest protected area of the Chihuahuan Desert in the United State, the park consists of about a million acres of pristine land that is as untouched as it has been for millions of years.

The park offers over 150 mountain, desert and river hikes and access to a variety of camping sites, canyons and a natural spring. We highly recommend camping, but if that’s just not your thing, the park is home to the Chisos Mountains Lodge, which also has a pretty decent restaurant. Just make sure to book as far in advance as possible. Hotels in this part of the state are hard to come by.

Marfa, Texas

For a day trip, Marfa is a fun little town that’s not far from Big Bend and has earned a reputation as a hub for art and film. Art aficionados or those who appreciate architecture will enjoy the Chinati Foundation, which houses one of the most unique art exhibits as well as pieces from dozens of visiting artists.

As for accommodations, the historic Hotel Paisano is a lovely option and your best bet for any luxury in these parts. They also have a great bar and dining area. It’s nice place to stop for an afternoon cocktail. However, f you’re up for something a little more exotic, check out El Cosmico, where you can slumber in a teepee or a yurt. Yes, a yurt!

If you’re only there for the day, make sure to check out the pop-up restaurant known as Capri Kitchen. This unassuming eatery isn’t easy to come by but it’s well worth it. They make THE most amazing fried chicken you’ll ever eat!

Kids and adults alike will want to check out the Marfa lights, although there’s still no proof they even exist or why!

The McDonald Observatory

You cannot or at least should not visit West Texas without checking out The McDonald Observatory, an astronomical observatory run by UT Austin. Up in the hills in the middle of nowhere in the town of Fort Davis, is an opportunity to have your mind blown. The weekly star parties and twilight programs the observatory hosts are a chance to see the universe from a whole new perspective, quite literally. Last time we were there we got to see Venus and Saturn up close.

You can be sure returning to San Antonio after a trip through this serene and utterly magnificent part of Texas will be a little jolting to your senses, but no doubt, you’ll be happy to be home! Please share pics on our Facebook if you do go.